Grigory Sokolov (born April 18, 1950 in Leningrad)
Those who are used to his art are most particularly attracted by the naturalness of his performing manner, which is part of his artistic credo. His playing betrays no influence from past masters, his style and approach are entirely his own, and are completely unique. Whatever Grigory Sokolov performs, be it a Pavane of William Byrd, a Bach Fantasia, Chopin Mazurka or a Prelude of Ravel, it suddenly sounds completely new. Even a familiar Beethoven Sonata can be rediscovered as a new piece. But all this magic has its earthly roots: Sokolov knows more about a Steinway than many piano technicians, and before he sits down to play a strange instrument, he first examines its inner mechanics, taking it to pieces. He is used to studying for many hours every day, and even on the day of a concert, practices on stage for hours, "getting to know" the piano. That he prefers his CDs to be recorded live is not surprising, since he likes to capture the sacred moments of a real, live concert and avoid the sterile atmosphere of a studio.
Grigory Sokolov is a regular guest of the most prestigious concert halls and festivals of Europe. He has performed in London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Madrid, Salzburg, Munich, Rome, New York, and worked with many of the world's most prominent conductors including Myung-Whun Chung, Valery Gergiev, Trevor Pinnock, Neeme Järvi, Herbert Blomstedt, Sakari Oramo, Alexander Lazarev, Moshe Atzmon, etc. He has worked with orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, Münchner Philharmoniker, Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Philharmonia and Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Sokolov has made a number of live recordings for Melodya and Opus 111 labels. These include works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Schubert, Schumann, Scriabin, and Tchaikovsky. The most recent publication is a DVD directed by Bruno Monsaingeon filming a recital of Grigory Sokolov at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris.